When I was 18 or so, I found two cysts - one on my left shoulder, the other on my face.
They weren't anything to worry about, according to the dermatologist, sebaceous cysts and certainly not cancer. He did agree at least the one on my shoulder ought to come out though as it existed right where my bra strap landed. So, in for a minor surgical procedure I went. I still have the scar.
The one on my face, however, was left alone. The doctor's concerns were two-fold: that it would grow back on its own and, since it was on my face, would be better left to a plastic surgeon who would be ably skilled at minimizing any scarring. Since he wasn't concerned about it though, neither was I. It wasn't large enough for people to notice, after all. It was just a subtle little nub.
Over the years, that cyst had become a worry stone of sorts. I mean, I wasn't worried about the cyst itself but if I were lost in thought or noodling through a problem, I'd often find myself subconsciously touching it, stroking it.
On Friday then, when trouble was at a high boil between Noodle and me and I was waiting anxiously for an e-mail response from him, I automatically reached for my cheek, seeking out the comfort of the nub...
And it was gone.
I had sliced it out myself - no plastic surgeon or medical training necessary - when I made an uncomfortable pillow out of a broken, jagged glass.
Now I have a new worry stone, a bigger and better one. It's much much more visible but it's also exponentially more satisfying. Perhaps, now that I'm older, I needed something more powerful and compelling to calm my troubled thoughts.
There's love in what I did to myself. Not that I'm willing to do it again, mind you. But I'm just now starting to recognize its value.